The Indigo and Jagua Blues

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Mobjack Bay

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Here are the three different blue soaps I’ve made to date for color comparison:

The methods:
For the left one, made just over a month ago with jagua from BB - the jagua was dispersed in water and then added directly to the batter as described here.
For the middle one, made just under a month ago with indigo from Nuture - the indigo was dispersed in oils and then added to the oils for a dark blue batch of high water batter that I then mixed with low water white batter, as incompletely described here.
For the right one, made yesterday with the same indigo added to the lye water, are here.

So many ways to get blue! The jagua soap has darkened considerably, including the white section. I don’t have my notes handy, but maybe I had some darker olive oil in that batter. I wasn’t using FOs at that point. (Do any EOs cause discoloration?) The first indigo soap may be getting deeper blue based on the original pics, but it could also be the lighting, which I am not controlling for. Notice how there is some purple bleeding into the glycerin rivers? Cool! That inspired me to mix the indigo powder with 91% alcohol and now the alcohol is turning purple. Maybe there is purple soap in my future! I also want to try mixing in a little Calendula or turmeric oil with indigo to see if I can get a green. I’ve read about others doing it successfully, but apparently it’s quite tricky to get the proportions just right.

A0C8C03E-6CDA-4058-97C3-334459DDB45C.jpeg
 

Kari Howie

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Here are the three different blue soaps I’ve made to date for color comparison:

The methods:
For the left one, made just over a month ago with jagua from BB - the jagua was dispersed in water and then added directly to the batter as described here.
For the middle one, made just under a month ago with indigo from Nuture - the indigo was dispersed in oils and then added to the oils for a dark blue batch of high water batter that I then mixed with low water white batter, as incompletely described here.
For the right one, made yesterday with the same indigo added to the lye water, are here.

So many ways to get blue! The jagua soap has darkened considerably, including the white section. I don’t have my notes handy, but maybe I had some darker olive oil in that batter. I wasn’t using FOs at that point. (Do any EOs cause discoloration?) The first indigo soap may be getting deeper blue based on the original pics, but it could also be the lighting, which I am not controlling for. Notice how there is some purple bleeding into the glycerin rivers? Cool! That inspired me to mix the indigo powder with 91% alcohol and now the alcohol is turning purple. Maybe there is purple soap in my future! I also want to try mixing in a little Calendula or turmeric oil with indigo to see if I can get a green. I’ve read about others doing it successfully, but apparently it’s quite tricky to get the proportions just right.

View attachment 39938
They’re all beautiful!
 

dibbles

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Interesting comparison - I like them all. FWIW, I haven't found calendula infused oil to impart much color. My annatto infused OO is a brighter golden yellow color in soap.
 

Mobjack Bay

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Interesting comparison - I like them all. FWIW, I haven't found calendula infused oil to impart much color. My annatto infused OO is a brighter golden yellow color in soap.
I have calendula, annatto and turmeric, so maybe I should try them all. I thought that maybe I had a good yellow from calendula, but it may be that the yellow was from orange wax. Green soap that smells like oranges sounds like something Dr Suess might invent :)
 

szaza

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Really cool to see the differences in color from different ways of adding a colorant (fist madder, now indigo..) I'm curious how indigo in alcohol will work out!
 

Mobjack Bay

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Curious if they faded a little yet?
The first post in this thread has the links to my original threads on the two “stormy seas” soaps, with photos. The oil in the one on the left has gotten darker and for the one in the middle, there’s been some bleeding of a purple tint into the glycerin rivers. Other than that, they haven’t hanged much to my eye.
 

Mobjack Bay

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Really cool to see the differences in color from different ways of adding a colorant (fist madder, now indigo..) I'm curious how indigo in alcohol will work out!
I inadvertently dried out my indigo tincture :(. I’ll have to start over again... Right now I’m mostly focusing on testing different recipes and put the colorant tests on the back burner.

Interestingly, unlike the madder tincture, which stays red when it dries, the indigo turned brown. That is not encouraging.
 

szaza

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I inadvertently dried out my indigo tincture :(. I’ll have to start over again... Right now I’m mostly focusing on testing different recipes and put the colorant tests on the back burner.

Interestingly, unlike the madder tincture, which stays red when it dries, the indigo turned brown. That is not encouraging.
Oh no! That's too bad! I have an attempt at an indigo tincture sitting in the basement which I'll try out next week or the week after that, so I'll be sure to update how that goes[emoji6] enjoy experimenting with formulations, it's super fun! [emoji16]
 

penelopejane

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Here are my results using indigo and annatto. These soaps are 6 months old and the colour is exactly the same as it was the day after they were poured.
I made the infusions and then added as per the instructions below.
The photos are numbered starting from the top left 1 to 4 on the top row then down and across. If you are a scientist (like my DH) you will roll your eyes at 8, 10 and 11 where I forgot to add the paprika to the lye! The orange spots on soap 3 and 6 are messy soap making. None of these bleed. The paprika at 15g infused oil is only slightly discernible from the plain soap.
Annatto oil infusion: 4 tsp (16g)annatto seeds in 250g olive oil and infuse it.
Indigo oil infusion: 4 tsp indigo in 250g olive oil.

Each soap is 160g batter or 100g oil.

1 annatto 15% -
15g annatto oil (15% of oils in cavity)
2 annatto 20% - 20g annatto oil
3 Indigo - 1/4 tsp heat water & mix first. Then add lye
4 Indigo-1/4 tsp heat water & mix first. Add lye. Add 15g indigo infused oil
5 indigo-1/2 tsp heat water & mix first. Then add lye
6 indigo-1/2 tsp heat water & mix first. Add lye. Add 15g indigo infused oil
7 Indigo - 15g infused oil
8 paprika - 1/2 tsp paprika in lye (forgot paprika)
9 paprika - 15g infused oil
10 paprika - 15g infused oil + 1/2 tsp in lye (forgot paprika in lye )
11 turmeric - 1/2 tsp in lye (forgot Turmeric)
12 turmeric - 15g infused oil
215 Indigo test 2.jpg
 
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Mobjack Bay

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@penelopejane - great results, both the colors and the impression style soap. It’s super helpful to see the 6 month photos. Do you know what kind of indigo you used, the INCI? I have some indigo crystals in ammonia right now for another experiment soon. It’s the synthetic kind, which I intend to use for stitched shibori style dyeing and tie dye, but thought I would test a little out in soap.
 

Mobjack Bay

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I used this:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32838938909.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4dFb7vgG

I try and make my soap as natural as possible so I didn't want to try the synthetic type.
According to this article and this one, indigo naturalis is the name for any indigo used in traditional Chinese medicine Qing Dai.

I have mostly used the plant derived dye colors, which include the dye and anything else that comes along with the plant material. The manufactured “nature identical” dyes are just the pigment. The plant material could have impurities (good and bad?) due to how and where the plant is grown and processed. There’s a long history of using plant indigo on hair and skin. The manufactured crystal form is just the pigment dye, which limits the potential for impurities, but then there’s also the manufacturing processes, waste streams, etc. to consider. I haven’t tried the manufactured dye in soap yet, but it looks very concentrated in solution compared with the plant material.
 
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